A Dolls’ House: 20 of the World’s Best Architects and Designers build a dolls’ house for KIDS


We are crazy about dollhouses and you won’t find a more incredible and original collection than right here!

On the 11 November 2013, 20 of the world’s best contemporary architects and designers’ creations went under the hammer with their version of A Dolls’ House in an exhibition and auction at Bonhams in aid of KIDS. The project was curated by Cathedral Group, an innovative  property developer and they raised over £90,000. What a wonderful cause that all of these architects put their heart and time into.

KIDS is a UK charity supporting disabled children, young people and their families. They run home learning programs, specialist nurseries, short-break programs for disabled children and a series of inclusive adventure playgrounds. They offer a wide variety of services to parents of children with disabilities and programs for siblings of disabled children and young carers.
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Kumanokoido Bears for Charity


These Kumanakoido bears are very special. In December of 2011, designer Junichi Nakane headed to Mali on a cross-cultural expedition of friendship. Journeying through the country, he noticed the lack of clean water sources in the village of Tireli in the central plateau region, and his friend cited the high cost of building a well in the village. Upon returning home to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Nakane began toying with ways to contribute to the community of Dogon people in the central plateau beyond writing a check. Nakane found himself with a booth space at the Brooklyn Flea with 15 hand-sewn bears that sold out in less than two hours—and that was the start of Kumanokoido. If you want to help raise money for building this well, you can order your special handmade bear here.



Hurricane Sandy Relief


I am grateful today that we finally have our power back. And since we were so cut off from everything during the aftermath, and really focused on just coping, I am now realizing the full extent of the devastation, loss and heartbreak suffered from this terrible storm. If you want to help the children and families who have been affected but are far away, you can help! Let’s get these children back into a Bellissima Kids state of mind!

Here are two charities that you can give to and who are already on the ground, in there providing relief, and the money you give goes directly to Hurricane Sandy relief:

1. Save the Childrenwhich addresses the needs of children before, during and after a disaster, and providing kid-friendly relief supplies and other essential support. They are already on the ground in New Jersey and other high impact areas assessing needs and preparing to build their well-known Child Friendly Spaces – special places where children affected by Sandy can play, sing and socialize—and regain a sense of normalcy in difficult times.

Save the Children also provides special programs that build upon children’s natural abilities to recover from a disaster, and help caregivers cope during this difficult time and support their children.

To donate, go here.


2. American Red Cross

Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in more than 250 Red Cross shelters across 16 states. As of Tuesday morning, the Red Cross had mobilized 1,700 disaster workers from all over the country who are serving tens of thousands of meals and snacks. They’ve also activated 167 response vehicles and shipped in more than 230,000 ready-to-eat-meals. Both of these agencies are providing safe places for children and their families. By caring for the children, their parents can begin focusing on finding support and services to can begin rebuilding their lives.

To donate, go here.


I promise that I will be back at posting my normal, lovely things soon, but just couldn’t. Not today…

Mini & Maximus Art Contest


What a cool art contest for kids under the age of 18! Mini & Maximus, who we just featured on our Fashion Week,  are collaborating with Kitson on this one and the winner’s artwork will be featured on clothes sold in Kitson stores. And the wonderful thing is that it will benefit The Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization which encourages working actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. They provide artistic workshops in the following disciplines: acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting and creative writing. The deadline is October 10th, so get those masterpieces in soon! For more info, take a look here.


Waner Children’s Vascular Anomaly Foundation

This is the first charity on Bellissima Kids and one that is very close to our hearts. When our darling little first born, Oona was a mere 2 weeks old, we noticed what looked like a scratch under her eye. In three weeks, this mark grew like a monster. Her pediatrician was on vacation, so I frantically did some research and realized it was a Strawberry Hemangioma, a type of birth mark. I remember breastfeeding with one arm while desperately surfing the internet to find help. All the specialists wanted us to wait months to be seen but I knew this needed immediate care. By some dumb luck or providence, I called a prominent OB-GYN that I know and asked him if he knew where I could take her. Turned out he knew a Dr. Waner, a world renowned pioneer in successful treatments for hemangiomas and vascular anomalies – they were affiliated with the same hospital! He got us an appointment with Dr. Waner the next day – his day off. When Dr. Waner saw the hemangioma, he told me that “it must be treated immediately”, booked Oona into St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital and removed it by laser surgery two hours later. Dr. Waner ‘s deep love of children is palpable and he managed to put two sleep deprived, desperate parents at ease with his light heartedness and kindness.

When we think of the road that we could have gone down with Oona of probable blindness in that eye, disfigurement and/or scarring trying to remove a large hemangioma, I still shudder and start to tear up. If you go on his website, you will be in awe and in tears yourself at the inspiring stories. We love you Dr. Waner.

Hemangiomas are not uncommon and can be fatal. Some of the more serious hemangiomas grow so large, they grow their own arteries and can cause heart failure. This is a very interesting article on CBS about Dr. Waner. He donates a large percentage of his surgeries to those who cannot afford surgery, and is committed to reaching more children in need. If you would like to get involved and donate, you can do so on this link. Also, you can redeem your American Express Membership Rewards points for a donation! For every 1,000 points you redeem, they receive $10.00. Sounds like a deal to me!